How to Unjam a Shredder in 4 Easy Steps

The dreaded office shredder paper jam. It’s every office worker’s nightmare. You’re in the middle of shredding a big stack of documents and, suddenly, the shredder comes to a screeching halt. Not only is it frustrating, but it can also be time-consuming to clear a jam from a shredder.

Fortunately, unjamming a shredder is relatively easy to do and only takes a few minutes. Follow these four steps and you’ll have your shredder up and running again in no time.

1. Turn off the power

This is an important step for safety reasons. Once the shredder is off, unplug it from the outlet and wait for all moving parts to come to a complete stop before proceeding. You don’t want to accidentally start the shredder while you’re trying to clear the jam.

2. Remove the paper jams

Grab a pair of scissors and remove any pieces of paper that are stuck in the blades or elsewhere in the machine. Be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp blades. If you see any small scraps of paper lodged in the blades, use a can of compressed air to blow them out. If there are no visible scraps of paper, check for anything that might be blocking the blades, such as a staples or paper clips. Remove anything that you find.

3. Clean the blades

Once all the paper jams have been removed, clean the blades with a microfiber cloth or a soft brush to remove any debris that might be preventing them from working properly. Use shredder lubricant to lubricate the blades and help prevent future jams.

4. Turn on the power and test the shredder

Plug your shredder back into the outlet and turn it on. Try feeding a few sheets of paper through to make sure everything is working as it should be.

And there you have it! With these four easy steps, you can unjam just about any shredder—and avoid those pesky paper jams in future.”


Paper jams are annoying—but luckily, they’re also relatively easy to fix. By following these four simple steps, you can have your office shredder up an running again in no time.